Top tips on how to get the most benefit from a break from work

Airplane mode

Even workaholics need to take a break from work. It’s not just a ‘nice to do’ but switching off from work is essential for your well-being. But how do you disconnect from work and resist the urge to check your work emails when smartphones and tablets make us so easily connected?

Here we offer some top tips to help you effectively disconnect from work and make the most of your holiday:


Plan ahead: If you are looking to go on holiday at peak times, then it’s vital to decide on the dates well in advance to avoid disappointment. Also, double check your work schedule, consider any important events or commitments and ensure you have enough holiday days available.


Communicate with your team: Once you’ve decided on your holiday dates, inform your employer and colleagues as early as possible. This will allow them to plan accordingly, delegate tasks, and ensure a smooth workflow in your absence.


Tie up loose ends: Do your best to tie up any loose ends and complete any urgent tasks before you go. Before you go, diarise time to hand over any outstanding work and responsibilities to your colleague(s). Be sure to provide them with clear instructions on how to handle any pending tasks and ensure that your work is organized and easily accessible for others while you’re away.


Set boundaries: Inform you colleagues and clients about your availability during your holiday. Set clear boundaries and let them know if you’ll be checking emails or responding to urgent matters only. Inform them of any alternative points of contact in case of emergencies.


Set up an out-of-office message: Activate your out-of-office auto-reply on your email and other communication platforms. Clearly mention the dates of your holiday, your ‘lack-of’ availability and provide an alternative contact person.


Disconnect from work: While on holiday, try to disconnect from work as much as possible. Resist the temptation to check emails or respond to work-related matters. Allow yourself to fully relax, recharge and enjoy your time off.


Set your phone to airplane mode: It’s ok to disconnect from work. You are not paid – or should be expected – to work 24/7. Resist the temptation to check work emails or messages regularly by setting your phone to airplane mode. Alternatively, consider temporarily uninstalling work-related apps from your personal devices to eliminate the temptation altogether.


Take a digital holiday: For many of us, social media forms part of our everyday lives. Why not use your holiday to have a digital detox? Take a break from social media and other digital platforms that might expose you to work-related content or stress-inducing information. Give yourself the freedom to detach from the online world and make ‘real life’ memories by focusing on your holiday experience.


Give yourself permission to relax: Remember, taking a break is essential for your well-being and productivity in the long run. Give yourself permission to relax guilt-free and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. This will probably be your greatest challenge!


Have fun: Above all, be in the moment and enjoy your well-earned time off, so you can return to work fully refreshed and raring to go (again).

If you have found our top tips helpful then you might also like to read ‘What type of holiday taker are you?’

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Picture of Catriona Dick

Catriona Dick

Head of Human Resources